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Heavens Gold

Heaven's Gold
Written by Rhonda Reese

I could barely get my request out. "Lord," I asked one December afternoon two years ago as loneliness and worry knocked me breathless again, "please show me something special I can do to help Mom."

Dad was gone. When he died one month before the holidays, I felt so drained that I considered skipping Christmas. But my grieving, depressed mother needed support. She and Dad were four days shy of celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary when cancer snatched my father away.

A week passed. Then one afternoon while I listened to a talk radio program about money, the show's host read a fax sent to him by a disgruntled shopper. Seems this tired consumer spent an afternoon tromping through stores, growing more exhausted with every step. She resented the pressure of purchasing gifts for mere acquaintances.

"I stayed in that mall for hours," the woman said. "My head pounded. My feet hurt. My stomach swirled. I developed a rotten attitude and just wished Christmas would hurry up and get over."

That's a familiar feeling, I thought. I wanted to hurry the holiday away, too.
"I fought my way through the crowds and finally got ready to pay," the woman continued. "As the line moved forward, I watched babies cry, couples argue, and a toddler throw a terrible tantrum. I felt so disillusioned that I almost walked out of the store.

"But then I noticed two children standing in line ahead of me. The boy looked about nine years old. The girl, maybe five. Neither child wore clothes warm enough for the day. Their hair was uncombed, and, well, honestly, both kids smelled awful."

My dad grew up poor. I wondered if anyone had ever felt that way about him.
The lady's saga continued. "The boy clutched some one dollar bills in his skinny hand. Coins poked from between the girl's clinched fingers. As the children approached the cash register, the girl plopped the gaudiest pair of sparkly, gold high-heeled shoes I'd ever seen up onto the counter. When the clerk rang them up, the children looked ready to burst into tears. They didn't have enough money. Suddenly I heard myself offer to pay their shortage."

My mind flashed back to a time I saw Dad give $2.00 to a shaky old man in the grocery store line. We never discussed it, but I'd never forgotten the scene.
Shopping dilemma solved.

The tale teller's voice broke as she told how both kids beamed. "The little boy explained that the shoes were for his mother. Then the girl piped up, 'My mamma has 'kemia. Daddy said she's going to Heaven soon. In Heaven they have gold streets. We're getting Mama shoes to match.'"

In stunned silence I realized God had spoken. He was reminding me where Dad now walked—on streets of gold. Would gold shoes help my heartbroken mother?
Before I finished my thought, the storyteller made one last comment. Something about Christmas being the way God wrapped up a love gift and sent him from heaven.
The gift of God. A baby Savior. The Savior who made it possible for loved ones to walk on streets of gold.

At home I found a pair of small doll shoes. After coating them with gold glitter and clear paint, I mounted them onto a mahogany plaque. With a burst of energy, I shuffled through a drawer to find my calligraphy pen and a piece of gold parchment. My hands trembled as I wrote: Departed to Walk on Streets of Gold. After gluing the parchment to the wood, I smiled at the finished project.

On Christmas Mom's face brightened when she unwrapped the gold shoes and my handwritten explanation. Even though the season still held sadness, the days brought joy as we talked about Pa plodding down gold pavement. I knew the Lord would guide Mother and me as we began taking steps in a healing direction.

Take me back the story page please

Jaci Rae has been named "The Christmas Expert!" She is also the author of Collista's Search for the True Meaning of Christmas! Congratulations Jaci Rae!

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